Sanyo VPC-CG9 review

£171
Price when reviewed

The CG9 is the smallest camcorder on test here and uses the same pistol-grip design as the larger Sanyo VPC-HD700 and HD1000 models overleaf. Unlike the HD700’s natural ergonomic feel, though, the CG9 is so small it can feel awkward to use for those with larger hands. Instead of the controls resting conveniently under the thumb, they lie further towards the palm, annoyingly just out of reach.

Sanyo VPC-CG9 review

Aside from this slight inconvenience when trying to shoot footage, the camera is very portable and can easily fit in a trouser pocket, weighing just 200g.

The CG9 is as easy to use as it is to transport, featuring little in the way of physical controls, though various settings can be changed via the menu. The only frustration we encountered while using the device (aside from the dodgy ergonomics) was that the battery had to be removed to charge it, which required unclipping a plastic side panel.

The CG9 is the cheapest camcorder in our test, so it was no surprise that it struggled in our quality tests. A paltry 40MB of internal storage is included, so you have to rely almost exclusively on SD cards for storage.

Although it is capable of capturing stills at an impressive 9.1 megapixels, its 640 x 480 video resolution is the lowest here. And while it has a reasonably large 1/2.33in sensor, the footage it captured was unimpressive. Images appeared grainy, and the lack of resolution failed to provide enough clarity to make images stand out. Even the high-res stills were poor, with output noisy and over-compressed.

Attempting to use the zoom while shooting stretched the CG9’s image stabilisation to, and beyond, its limits, especially at the huge 60x digital maximum. Low-light conditions led to more problems, with the automatic white balance adding a strange hue to rooms. High levels of noise were visible in dark scenes.

Due to the poor footage quality, and the lack of internal storage, the CG9 is best suited to short bursts for the web. But it’s expensive for a web footage camera, and stills fail to impress, so it’s hard to recommend on any front.

Specifications

Camcorder HD standard None
Camcorder maximum video resolution 640 x 480
Camera megapixel rating 9.1MP
Camcorder recording format MPEG-4, H.264
Accessory shoe? no
Camera optical zoom range 5.0x
Camera optical image stabilisation no
Electronic image stabilisation? yes
Screen size 2.5in
Touchscreen no
Viewfinder? no
Built-in flash? yes
Light? no
Number of sensors 1

Audio

Internal mic type Stereo
External mic socket? no
Quoted battery life 160mins

Dimensions

Dimensions width 39
Dimensions depth 76
Dimensions height 109
Dimensions 39 x 76 x 109mm (WDH)
Weight 200g

Storage

Integrated memory 0GB
Camcorder internal storage type Flash memory
Memory card support SD/SDHC Card

Outputs

Composite video output? yes
Component video output? no

Accessories

Remote control? no
Dock? no

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